Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Book Sales Update

I've now shipped signed and numbered copies of You, Version 2.0 to eleven countries.  About half of the books went to the US, and then there were multiple copies to each of Britain, Australia, Germany, and Israel.  The remaining countries (Spain, Norway, France, Switzerland, Poland, and the Netherlands) have only had one copy sent to each.

Over the last week, I kept forgetting to turn off the shopping cart option that lets people request a custom signature, even though I'd meant to leave that offer open for only 48 hours.  But people kept ordering, so I figured, "what the heck".  Also, I found this post which convinced me I should maybe leave the offer open a few days more, just to give everybody a chance.  So, "what the heck", I'll leave the custom signature offer open through Sunday.

I haven't done the detailed numbers yet, but I think I may have almost broken even at this point.  That is, I think I may have received enough dollars in sales to pay for all the initial costs of setup, printing, credit card charges, packaging and shipping.  At least it's getting real close.  So, now I need to sell the rest of the books so that I can actually get some money for myself.  :-)  That's the downside of being your own publisher: you have to put up all the money and take all the risk.  But at least at this point if no more books were sold, I would only have lost a little money and a lot of time.  (Ouch.)

Speaking of risk, I was originally planning to have this article delve into the dangers of cost accounting for small business management, explaining why the amount of capital at risk and time-to-payback are much more impactful on a small business venture than per-item margins.  But you probably don't care about any of that unless you're running a small business that buys or produces inventory and sells it.  Like, oh, say, a publishing company.  :-)  Still, some of the cost accounting fallacies are relevant for almost any kind of business, and understanding how to use simulations to "run the numbers" is important for any investment.

But I've had a pretty busy day today: I've been using my new multitasking skills to work on personal projects as well as on professional ones.  The last few evenings I've been spinning off software packages out of PEAK into individual projects (as you might've seen via PyPI if you're a Python programmer).  So I'm going to take the rest of the evening off now, and save the capital-at-risk and Monte Carlo simulation stuff for another time, assuming anybody's even interested in that.

So have a good one, and don't forget to order your copy of You, Version 2.0 now.  :-)